February 2019

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Page 186 of 190

187 B riana Guillory dabbled with several sports growing up and she was unsure what to expect when she signed up for track and field as a sophomore at Deer Valley (California) High School. Previously, she had attended camps for basketball, soball, and soccer. Soccer appealed to her most; she enjoyed kicking the ball, stealing it from others, and even putting a slide tackle on opponents. "Probably not a great thing," Guillory said about her fixation for contact. Her sport of choice turned when the Deer Valley track and field coach lined every Wolverine sprinter across the track for a run-off to see who would be in the 4x100-meter relay. "I had just joined and I beat everybody," Guillory recalls. "I beat the fastest girl and she was big stuff at the high school." Guillory has become pretty big stuff as well. Already a seven-time All-American and school record holder in the 400-meter dash, the University of Iowa senior is eager to finish her collegiate career in the fast lane. "We don't put any numerical goals as far as, 'Hey, I want you to run this or run that' because that is putting limitations on her," Iowa associate head track and field coach Clive Roberts said. "e sky is the limit for her. We have big aspirations this year." Like is oen the case in recruiting, Roberts noticed Guillory's times before he started the recruiting process. Aer all, Guillory lived in California, a 30-hour car ride from Iowa City, Iowa. Little did anyone at Iowa know, but a plus in recruiting was the fact Iowa occasionally gets snowfall. "I love the snow," Guillory said. "We had to drive for the snow in California. Here I just scoop up a snowball and throw it." ere's something else about Guillory that isn't widely known. In high school she not only ran, but did well, at cross country. And on the track she had success at distances up to 800 meters. At some point Guillory decided to specialize in the 100 and 200 dashes and possibly contribute a leg on the 4x400 relay. Coaches at both high school and college made sure she also entered the open 400. at turned out to be a good decision. At her final high school state meet, Guillory was runner-up in the 400 (54.29 seconds), ran second leg on the third-place 4x400 relay (3:45.84), and was fih in the 200 (23.99). By that time — the spring of 2015 — Guillory understood the nuances of the sport that might not have been clear when she started three years earlier. "I didn't realize there was a difference between winning your heat and winning the race entirely," Guillory said. "I was like, 'Oh, I didn't just beat everybody (in the lanes) beside me, I beat everybody (in the heats) before me and aer me. at is when I realized I was kind of fast." Guillory made a speedy introduction into the Big Ten Conference. During the 2016 indoor season, she ran the second leg on Iowa's 4x400 relay that finished ninth at the NCAA Championships for second-team All-America honors. At the outdoor Big Ten Championships, she won the 200 dash and was the second leg on the winning 4x400 relay. She was a three-time national qualifier outdoors and was twice named second-team All-America (4x100 and 4x400 relays), as well as honorable mention in the 200. Aer the season, Guillory was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, team Most Valuable Performer, and Iowa's Outstanding Freshman. at initial success would be tough to duplicate, but as a junior in 2018, Guillory placed sixth in the 400 meters (51.68) and was second leg on Iowa's 4x400 relay that placed ninth at the

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